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Forming friendships with your coworkers has been shown to make you a lot more productive. Three different studies have shown that:1
- Office friendships increase your job satisfaction by an average of 50%
- You are seven times more likely to be engaged at work when your best friend works at the same place
- “[P]eople who initiate office friendships and are engaged in official social activities are 40 per cent more likely to get a promotion” (this one’s my favorite)
Companies that have tightly-knit employees even have a higher earnings per share, and recovered quicker from the last recession!
If you find it difficult to find energy and motivation at work, forging deeper friendships with your coworkers is a great way to increase your job satisfaction, become more engaged in your work, and even increase your pay over the long run.
How to make closer friends at the office
Here are a few ways that have worked for me (and others):
- Don’t overthink it. Pretty much every situation where I’ve gotten to know a coworker better started with, “hey, I’m going to [some restaurant] for lunch, you guys want to come?”
- Give sincere compliments and strike up genuine conversations. A few suggestions from The Daily Muse: ask about the photo on their desk, ask open-ended questions about your coworker, and make sure you care enough to remember details for future conversations.2
- Give gifts, whether that mean baking a batch of cookies for the office, or remembering to buy someone a card on their birthday. People can usually tell when you care, especially when cookies are involved.
- Take someone you want to know better out for a coffee. This is simple, easy, and a great way to network while getting to know someone. Chances are there’s a coffee shop close to where you work!
One more tip: “once your co-workers have gotten to know you in the office, don’t be afraid to kick your relationships up a notch.” Gather a few folks up for drinks or a meal after work, or even head out for lunch.3 Getting together in a natural, outside-the-office setting is key here, in my opinion.
If you’re looking for more motivation at work, building deeper relationships with the folks you work with just might be the answer you’re looking for.